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More Than Gold – January 2012 – Torch Relay and your church

The countdown to the 2012 Games will bring the Olympic torch close to your community. MORE THAN GOLD outline how you can make the most of it ...

The 70 days leading up to the opening of the 2012 Games sees the Olympic flame carried the length and breadth of the UK – in a massive cavalcade involving a team of 8,000 torchbearers.

This Torch Relay will stop morning and evening at 140 communities, weaving its way through many more. As a result, most of the population will be in travelling distance of this great spectacle.

Why is the Torch Relay important for churches?
 Each community where the Torch Relay stops is expected by the organising committee of London 2012 to give it a spectacular welcome. This could involve entertainment, shows and concerts with a local flavour.

Most local authorities will welcome the help of churches, particularly via

  • Creative and performing arts – using their own talent or bringing it in from outside the area
  • Hospitality – including being part of the One Million Cups of Water programme
  • Volunteers – from crowd control to specialist advice and help

Where will the Torch Relay go?
 See below for the major overnight stops. For a list of all 1,018 communities through which the Torch will pass, go to http://www.morethangold.org.uk/uploads/file/UK_wide_Communities_on_the_route.pdf

There are also full details at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelaymap

HELPING CHURCHES GET READY


To help churches get ready for the Torch visiting or passing through their community, there will be:

  • A handbook of ideas as a free resource in partnership with Traidcraft, showing what churches can do regardless of whether their village, town or city is a major stop or just on the route
  • A local task force is being set up in each town where the Torch is to stop to help run community events that support the official celebrations. Those interested should e-mail More Than Gold at torch@morethangold.org.uk
  • With an eye on the issue of social justice, a fairtrade Hospitality Kit will be available for churches to buy. What is your church planning to do? Let us know by mailing editor@inspiremagazine.org.uk

FOLLOW THE FLAME

The spectacular Torch Relay will pass through over 1,000 villages, towns and cities during the 70 days before the Games start. This will bring it within 10 miles of almost the whole population.

The Torch Relay will stop overnight for major local events to celebrate its arrival. The venues for these are:

East Midlands: Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham

East of England: Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich, Luton, Norwich, Peterborough

London: Bexley, Ealing, Haringey, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster

Northern Ireland: Belfast, Derry~Londonderry, Newry, Portrush

North East: Alnwick, Durham, Middlesbrough, Newcastle

North West: Blackpool, Bolton, Bowness-on-Windermere, Carlisle, Chester, Isle of Man, Liverpool, Manchester

Scotland: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Isle of Lewis, Orkney, Shetland

South East: Brighton and Hove, Dover, Guernsey, Guildford, Jersey, Hastings, Maidstone, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton

South West: Bournemouth, Bristol, Cheltenham, Exeter, Land’s End, Plymouth, Salisbury, Taunton, Weymouth and Portland

Wales: Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Swansea

West Midlands: Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Worcester

Yorkshire and Humber: Cleethorpes, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York.

Much more including resources and advice is available at http://www.morethangold.org.uk

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